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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Russian Studies

Undergraduate Course: The Post-Soviet Word, Image and Memory (Ordinary) (ELCR09001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course provides an approach to post-Soviet Russian culture through a consideration of different media, including literature, cinema, television and newspapers. It encourages an interdisciplinary approach to post-Soviet Russian culture and, through textual analysis, the development of reading skills in Russian. The emphasis on individual project work enables students to pursue aspects of the subject that are of particular interest to them, while gaining the perspective offered by the wider cultural context.
Course description The course will study several important films, paintings, monuments, media texts and literary texts in order to analyse the most significant cultural and political trends that emerged in the post-Soviet period. The course will examine the relevance of established postmodernist theoretical and semiotic approaches to Russian culture of the 1990s-2000s. Through a close textual study of key texts and artefacts of the post-Soviet period, this option aims to foster an understanding of the ways writers, artists, educationalists and journalists engage with contemporary society and culture to produce texts, programmes, artefacts and films that contribute to the construction of new identities, the ongoing reinvention of the past and to the preservation of collective and personal memories. It will examine: (i) why the texts, films and other artefacts can be defined as postmodernist and post utopian; and (ii) how they reject, engage with and/or critique the changing social, political and cultural landscape of Russia in the 1990s-2010s.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements BA/Ordinary students and Visiting Students. Students should attend classes alongside ELCR10014.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIn order to be eligible to take 4th Year Options, Visiting Students should have the equivalent of at least two years of study at University level of the appropriate language(s) and culture(s)
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  4
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Discussion board/participation - 20% (a minimum participation: 4 entries=pass)

Final essay (submitted in week 12): 2,000 words=60 %;

Presentations in the end of the course (week 10): a podcast with a PDF document or a PP document uploaded to Learn=20%.

Essay outline and bibliography (300 words)=0% (formative assessment: submitted by week 10)
Feedback Written feedback on essay outlines and essays.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To gain a historically-informed understanding of the socio-political, cultural and literary contexts of Russia after 1991.
  2. Use and apply close knowledge of the works studied and to analyse these in terms of the cultural contexts in which they were first read, circulated and perfomed.
  3. Use familiarity with critical ideas and terms relevant to Russian culture after 1991and apply these critically.
  4. Recognise the complexity of the subject.
  5. Offer alternative perspectives and show awareness of contrasting viewpoints.
Reading List
Pelevin "Genertaion P"
Tolstaya: a few stories and essays
Kibirov: a few poems
Petrushevskaya: a few stories
Zviagintsev: The Return
Balabanov: Brother 1, Brother 2, and War
Mikhalkov: Burnt by the Sun
Uchitel': The Stroll or Bychkova: Piter FM
Sokurov: Russian Ark
Paintings, monuments and installations by these artists: Tsereteli, Komar and Melamid, Shemiakin, Kabakov, and Butalov
Secondary sources:
*Mikhail Epstein, Alexander Genis, Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover
Russian Postmodernism :
New Perspectives on Post-Soviet Culture.
New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1999.

*Lipovetsky, Mark.Russian Postmodernist Fiction: Dialogue with Chaos. Ed. Eliot Borenstein. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1999.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research, communicative, analytical and writing skills relevant for literary studies, cultural studies, journalism, history, film studies and political science.
KeywordsPost-Soviet culture; film; memory; Russian literature.
Course organiserDr Alexandra Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1381
Course secretaryMr Craig Adams
Tel: (0131 6)50 3646
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